M4 MacBook Pro launch tipped for late 2024, could this be the best Apple Intelligence device yet?

M3 MacBook Pro review
(Image credit: Future)

A top display insider has revealed that Apple’s next premium laptop, the M4 MacBook Pro, is likely on track for a launch before the end of this year. 

Apple’s current best MacBook, the M3 MacBook Pro, was unveiled in October last year. While there were no design changes to speak of, it did feature Apple’s potent M3 Apple silicon processor and its more powerful M3 Pro and M3 Max variants. Despite being not even a year old, however, all eyes are now firmly on the next iteration of the MacBook Pro, as Apple looks to pivot to a yearly release cycle in line with its best iPhones. 

Previously, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple is targeting a new M4 MacBook Pro launch “around the end of 2024.” Now, display analyst Ross Young has revealed panel shipments for the new device are set to begin in Q3 of 2024, reiterating rumors of a Q4 2024 launch. With December an unlikely candidate for a Mac release, we’d look to either October or November as prime launch windows. A release then would coincide nicely with the launch of macOS Sequoia and the new Apple Intelligence features on board, and as we’ve seen, Apple’s new M4 chip is all about AI. 

Apple Intelligence in the best possible package 

As is clear from Apple’s stringent system requirements for Apple Intelligence — you need an iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max or an M1-powered iPad or Mac — AI is all about processing power. The more potent your NPU (Apple’s Neural Engine), the more data you can process and the more substantial the requests that you can handle are. 

Apple has already rolled out its new M4 chip in Apple’s best iPad, the M4 iPad Pro. Unveiled in May, headline upgrades include the stunning new OLED display and the new Apple Pencil Pro. However, when it comes to AI and Mac processing power, the M4 is the most enticing change. The new M4 chip features a beefed-up GPU and better efficiency, and its Neural Engine can put out 38 trillion operations per second (TOPS). Apple says its M4 is an “outrageously powerful device for AI.” In all likelihood, the MacBook version of this chip should be even more powerful because it will feature significantly better cooling compared to the thermally-limited iPad. 

A final noteworthy detail from Young, he says that panel shipments for both the 14- and 16-inch models of the new MacBook Pro are about to be set in motion. As such, it seems we can expect a rollout of all three expected models of the new M4 MacBook Pro, the M4, M4 Pro, and M4 Max versions, with only the M4 model limited to the 14-inch chassis. Previously, Mark Gurman’s report had only indicated that the “low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro” was coming, and said the higher-end variants might not surface until “early 2025.” 

When they do arrive, these new M4 MacBooks are likely to be the best Apple products on the market when it comes to Apple Intelligence, with the most processing power and thermal performance of any eligible device yet. 

Can't wait for M4? Get $300 off M3 in this early Prime Day MacBook deal:

MacBook Pro M3 14-inch| $1,599$1,399 at Amazon

MacBook Pro M3 14-inch| $1,599 $1,399 at Amazon

This features the potent M3 chip inside the much flashier MacBook Pro chassis, replete with a 120Hz display for buttery-smooth scrolling, gaming, and viewing. 

Price checker: $1,599 at Apple | $1,449 at Best Buy | $1,399 at B&H Photo

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9